Friday, August 04, 2006

He ain't heavy, he's my anti-Semite

I must say, I've grown weary of the long, depressing and endless Mel-o-Drama surrounding the anti-Semitic remarks hear 'round the world. I strongly disagree with Mel Gibson's strict unyielding, right-wing doctrine (nor do I tolerate his current or past racist, sexist and homophobic remarks), but I think this whole debacle has ventured into a sad place where we're all now just reveling in the schadenfreude of it all. I wish there was a way we, as a people, could actually find that "path to healing" that Mel professed to want in his second (though probably not last) public apology. Wouldn't it be amazing if, from a crazed moment of bigotry, some truer understanding and perhaps acceptance of everyone's differences occurred. What can I say, I'm a dreamer.

Today, longtime Gibson friend Jodie Foster weighted in on the whole debacle in a Los Angeles Times article. I was wondering when/if she might speak up. The two are close pals which, at least in my mind, speaks somewhat to his character. (Or against hers?) Plus - while she has never confirmed this publicly - all signs point to the simple truth that she is a gay woman. Jodie has always struck me as very, very smart. I would hope a very, very smart (gay) person would not be buddy-buddy with a complete bigot. But hell, what do I know.

Here is what she had to say about Mel. You can read the whole article here (free registration required).

(Those) sentiments were shared by longtime Gibson friend Jodie Foster, who, upon hearing the news while on the New York set of her new film, refused to believe it."Someone told me what had happened, and I said, 'That is just so not true,' " she said. When it was confirmed, Foster said, she was stricken with deep sadness that a man she considers "one of the nicest, most honest men I have ever met" had taken such a fall. Although she and Gibson speak regularly, Foster had no idea he was drinking again."Is he an anti-Semite? Absolutely not," Foster said. "But it's no secret that he has always fought a terrible battle with alcoholism. I just wish I had been there, that I had been able to say, 'Don't do it. Don't take that drink.' "

Like Devlin, she does not believe that drunkenness excuses hurtful remarks, but she bristles at accusations in the media that Gibson is using his alcoholism as a "get out of jail free" card from charges of anti-Semitism."It is a horrible disease, and it affects everyone differently," Foster said. "I do not have personal experience with addiction, but I have seen it take many paths in people I know. For some, it is a soft slide off the barstool, and some experience true psychotic episodes."

She points to friends Christian Slater -who has had many drunken run-ins with the law, including a 1997 scuffle with a police officer after allegedly hitting his girlfriend - and Robert Downey Jr. as examples of the personality-changing effects that drinking can have on the alcoholic."Would I have believed Christian Slater, who is the nicest, gentlest man in the world, would hit a woman? No," Foster said. "Or Downey, you cannot find anyone in the film business who does not love Downey, and look at some of his exploits.""Mel is honest, loyal, kind," she said, "but alcoholism has been a lifelong struggle for him and his family." (The actor and his wife, Robyn, have been married for 26 years and have seven children.)

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